Your curiosity may have taken you to this site, but unless you’ve experienced dream control yourself, there may well be some doubts. That is fine. A healthy skepticism and questions are always good.
Especially if this is the first article on this site that you clicked or stumbled on, let’s allay your worries right now: the answer to the above question is a resounding yes!
To begin with, you are in great company. Many others before you have asked (and answered) the question can you control your dreams?
German psychologist Dr. Paul Tholey has done much research on the topic.
Dr. Tholey is known to many Americans because of his being quoted extensively in a book called Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge and Howard Rheingold. This book is a classic on the subject, an influential work that has had great effect on many, including those behind this very site you’re now reading.
The correct brain states to optimally experience lucid and controlled dreams have also been identified. Popular meditation systems now exist to coax your brain into such states.
I’m an oneironaut, or dream explorer, myself. Here is an entry from my own dream journal:
“The large bridge near my house is entirely closed, one side is gated. A film crew is on the bridge, about to film a scene. I’m standing on the bridge near them, looking around. I snap into the awareness that I am dreaming. I begin to fly up towards the sky, feeling free, and the sky is changing colors. Some of the colors are not what the sky can naturally look like in real life. I’m feeling great, then woke up.”
Now, please note that when I say that I “snapped into an awareness” that I was dreaming, I’d already been dream journaling, remembering dreams every night, and practicing lucid dreaming. But does the above answer the question can you control your dreams? Absolutely!
Some methods to help you focus in your dreams include looking at your own hands and looking at the ground. These help you gain full lucidity, or remain lucid once you reach that threshold of awareness.
You can also “spin” the situation, picturing all of the characters and scenery around you whirling into a blend of shapes and colors as you focus on what you want to see/experience next. This is a fundamental method of exerting your influence on the dream.
Trying to fly, even if it doesn’t fully work, can help you to put the attention on your own power. It also keeps you reminded that you’re dreaming.
Doing anything you wouldn’t normally be able to do in waking life provides a good anchor for lucidity.
As you’re asking yourself whether you’re able to control your dreams, try these methods out. Please note we’ll go into more details on these techniques in subsequent articles.
The above, cursory look at look at dream control practices brings a general theme into light.
Mainly, there are two ways of looking at exerting control. One is to try to change what’s outside of yourself in the dream (characters, setting, etc.) The other is to transform your own reaction.
Please consider the distinction, especially if you are exploring your dream life for personal development purposes.
Dr. Tholey, the dream researcher mentioned above, states that our brain states while asleep tremendously affect what we experience in the dream. That’s of course why people look to dreams as a window into their psyches.
What Dr. Tholey means is that if your brain experiences fearful emotions while asleep, monsters and the like will appear in your dreams.
Sounds logical enough.
Here’s where that leads: the “can you control your dreams?” question now becomes, “can you manage your emotions?”
If you’re lucid, you can face the monster or perpetrator chasing you, look them in the eye (a common transformative technique) and send them love. You can also simply ask, “who are you, really?” Or, “what do you want?”
As you stand in courage, knowing you can’t be hurt, the fearful figure will morph or disappear.
This is where some real juicy stuff is. This is where your dreaming life can positively affect your waking life and lead to more psychological wholeness. Such a symbolic confrontation and transformation in the dream state can lead to your own personal growth and alchemy.
Many dreamers report feelings of empowerment and increased self-esteem after such episodes.
Well, that should answer some questions and get you further along on some ideas and techniques to aid you on your path. Again, the techniques mentioned above will be outlined in greater detail in later posts.
…you’ll want to check out the lucid dreaming products offered at The Unexplainable Store.
See why The Unexplainable Store is a major destination for enhancing your dreaming adventures.
Well, that’s it for this article on the question can you control your dreams? We’ll be sharing more soon!
If you’ve already read the other introductory articles, this article on intention will be your next step.